Interview with Rasheed Quraishi, Head Chef at Chutney's Restaurant in Dubai

Interview with Rasheed Quraishi, Head Chef at Chutney's Restaurant in Dubai

A journey through the rich and authentic flavors of North Indian cuisine, that is how one can describe the experience at the Chutney’s Restaurant. Nestled within Mövenpick Hotel & Apartments Bur Dubai, this Indian restaurant is adorned with Indian-inspired decor, presenting a symphony of aromatic thick curries, biryanis, and kebabs. Renowned for its Nawabi flavors, Chutney’s Restaurant has successfully captured the essence of northern India.

Let us unveil the secrets behind their award-winning journey with Chef Rasheed Quraishi, Head Chef at Chutney’s Restaurant.

Chef Rasheed Quraishi, Head Chef at Chutney's Restaurant

Coming from a distinguished lineage of chefs who once graced India's royal courts, including the renowned Chef Imtiaz Qureshi, Chef Rasheed Quraishi brings a majestic touch to his culinary craft. Throughout the impressive 27-year culinary journey, Chef Qureshi has showcased a masterful blend of tradition and innovation infusing each dish with a regal charm and a rich heritage rooted in 200-year-old ancestral recipes. With a global culinary vision, Chef Quraishi aspires to propel Chutney's Restaurant into a sensation revered worldwide.

The culinary philosophy at Chutney’s Restaurant revolves around preserving the authentic flavors of North Indian cuisine. Chef Quraishi explains,

“The key focus is on providing customers with a genuine taste of India, ensuring that the essence of North Indian food is preserved in every dish."

This philosophy underscores a customer-centric approach, aiming to bring true North Indian flavors to the dining experience. To ensure the authenticity of their dishes, Chutney’s Restaurant sources their ingredients and spices directly from India. Extra thought is also put into the selection and preparation of meat. The meticulous attention to detail and an unwavering commitment to quality define the restaurant's culinary excellence.

With recipes passed down through a culinary lineage dating back to the Mughals, Chutney’s Restaurant offers historic Royal dishes in their truest form. Chef Quraishi claims,

“The recipes that I use at Chutney’s Restaurant have been passed down to me for over 200 years.”

Despite following deep-rooted culinary traditions, he remains flexible when it comes to innovating dishes by adding a personal touch to the food they serve at Chutney’s Restaurant. Additionally, he customizes the dishes to accommodate dietary preferences to ensure that every guest, whether a meat lover or a vegan, can experience the true essence of North Indian cuisine.

Curating a menu featuring 17 curated curries and vegan options requires a delicate balance between tradition and innovation. Chef Rasheed acknowledges the diverse preferences among customers, particularly regarding spice levels and dietary restrictions. In order to suit the individual preferences of their guests, the restaurant strives to tailor each dish while remaining true to North Indian cuisine roots.

Chef Rasheed constantly innovates and introduces new dishes and menus aligned with ongoing themes. This helps the restaurant keep its menu consistently fresh and appealing, promising a dining experience that never grows monotonous. From special offerings for occasions like Valentine’s Day and Ramadan to the regular infusion of novel elements, one could always find something new and interesting on their menu.

One of the culinary masterpieces at Chutney’s Restaurant is their Royal Thali. This signature offering is a delightful exploration of diverse flavors, textures, and aromas inherent in North Indian cuisine. Crafted as an enhanced version of the traditional Indian meal served on a grand platter, the Royal Thali boasts an array of distinct tastes, ranging from spicy to sweet.

Chef Quraishi shares the inspiration behind ‘Galawati Kebab’, one of Chutney’s Restaurant's most popular dishes. Deeply rooted in the rich culinary history of Lucknow, the city of Nawabs, Galawati Kebab translates into ‘melt in the mouth’. The recipe is drawn from the traditional recipe created by Haji Mohammad Fakr in the 18th century. The preparation of this exquisite dish involves selecting and finely grinding high-quality meat, whether lamb or beef and infusing it with a blend of aromatic spices. An additional touch of magic comes from the inclusion of raw papaya in the marinade, a technique passed down through generations. The dish also serves as a celebration of the cultural richness of North Indian cuisine.

Guests can expect a royal treatment at Chutney’s Restaurant. The customer-centric approach focuses on understanding the guests' needs and striving to make each visit more memorable than the last. The Mughal/royal-themed ambiance, adorned with fancy wooden seats and accented with silvers and golds, along with an Instagrammable swing at the entrance, adds to the overall charm of the guest experience. By engaging all five senses – taste, smell, touch, sight, and hearing, it is truly a must-try gastronomic experience for foodies loving North Indian cuisine.

Ensuring that guests' dining preferences and expectations are met is a priority at Chutney’s Restaurant. The essence of hospitality is intrinsic to Indian dining. Chef Rasheed continues,

“Indian dining is all about 'Khatirdari,' which means Hospitality, and we at Chutney’s Restaurant ensure that everyone on the team plays a part in this. As the head Chef, I try my best to meet guests personally to get a better understanding of their experience and feedback on the food.”

Every team member, including restaurant staff, management, and kitchen staff, actively contributes to creating a welcoming atmosphere. While taking the orders, the team takes special care to inquire about customers' dietary requirements and restrictions, striving to accommodate their needs.

Adding to the royal experience at the Chutney’s Restaurant is the live Ghazal musical you can enjoy at the restaurant. In consideration of the Northern parts of India's rich cultural heritage, the Ghazal band introduces a contemporary element to the restaurant's ambiance and culinary theme.

The exceptional service at the Chutney’s Restaurant has won recognitions like Best Indian Cuisine in Dubai and Taiwan. Chef Rasheed, while acknowledging the success, emphasizes that the credit does not solely belong to him but is a result of a collaborative team effort. Having worked with individuals from diverse backgrounds and observing innovative competitors, the chef has gained valuable insights. He also underscores the continuous learning curve in the culinary industry, irrespective of one's position or level of expertise.

Looking ahead, Chef Quraishi envisions Chutney’s Restaurant contributing to Dubai's reputation as a global culinary hub. Beyond being recognized as a mere restaurant, he aspires for Chutney's Restaurant to be a cultural experience, attracting travelers from around the world seeking the authenticity, flavor mastery, and unique dining adventure it offers.

Chef Quraishi's passion and dedication continue to elevate Chutney’s Restaurant, making it a must-try for those seeking an unparalleled Indian culinary journey in the heart of the city.

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Shahba Mayyeri

Written by Shahba Mayyeri

Shahba is a Content Creator at HiDubai with 3 years of experience in crafting compelling stories and articles. She holds a Master’s degree in Media and Communications from MAHE Dubai.
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